Every business owner wants to run a successful and efficient business. Hiring the right people for the right positions is a key part of success, but it’s not always easy to hire and train employees in areas you could more easily outsource.
The good news is, it’s getting easier for companies to outsource key functions like accounting, finance, and human resources with the evolution of sophisticated online tools and a growing talent pool of experienced people with a desire to work remotely.
Outsourcing allows you, as the business owner, to allocate precious internal resources to core business activities that affect your bottom line, while taking essential, yet time-consuming functions like accounting, off your day-to-day plate.
If you’re considering outsourcing to a firm like Stride, that specializes in back-office accounting services, here are 7 questions you should consider when starting the process.
1. Am I ready to outsource my accounting function?
Small business owners tend to wear many hats for much longer than they should. It’s common for business owners to “save” money by handling the accounting function themselves, or by hiring cheap and inexperienced people to handle the bookkeeping. Typically this results in a lack of good accounting processes, messy financials, and too much time being consumed putting out fires.
If you are feeling the strain on internal resources, not experiencing peace of mind around your financial functions, or have employees who aren’t qualified to handle your accounting at its current level, then it’s time to think about outsourcing.
2. How do I choose the right accounting firm?
Choosing the right company to handle your accounting is critical for successful outsourcing.
Look for companies that are:
- Able to provide good references
- Established with a proven history
- Operating with tight systems and procedures
- Retaining experienced and knowledgeable staff
- Providing services that fit your needs and will free up internal resources (see #3)
3. Will they reduce the workload of my CFO, so he/she can focus on more strategic activities?
One major benefit of outsourcing your accounting function is freeing up internal resources for other core business activities. To do this successfully, partner with an accounting service that provides fractional CFO services and high-level financial reporting, in addition to bookkeeping and accounting services.
These services help provide your management team with accurate reporting so they can focus on forward-looking strategy and growth, ultimately giving your business better opportunities for growth and success.
4. Will they be able to scale as my transactions grow?
Growth is a wonderful thing for your business but it can cause strain on your internal resources. “Growing pains” are a real thing and can create havoc in any business.
An important aspect of outsourcing your accounting is to find a partner with the ability to handle growth and expansion. They should have the processes, infrastructure, and talent to scale with you.
What systems and processes do they have in place? How experienced is the staff working on your account? Do they have the bandwidth to handle your business growth? These are important questions to ask.
5. Will they understand my business?
Some may argue accounting is different for every business or industry, however, that isn’t necessarily true. Every business has its own unique needs and nuances, and business models warrant different accounting processes, but the fundamentals of accounting remain the same.
For example, if you have a software business that sells a monthly or yearly membership fee, then revenue recognition for your business would be much different than that of an e-commerce store selling t-shirts. While accounting principles may be the same across the board, every business and industry has unique needs.
The benefit of working with a company like Stride is the collective wisdom of your team. We take the time to get to know your business throughout our onboarding process to assure we understand your individual needs. We then assemble a talented team that can best serve your needs.
Whether your business has recurring revenue, is a product-based business, or provides high-level services, partner with a company with the resources to assemble an experienced team that can best serve your business.
6. Will my information be safe?
Safety of your sensitive information is a common concern when outsourcing an important function like accounting. A reputable accounting service will always put the safety of your information first. This includes bank logins, social security numbers, financial reports, payroll data, and personal information.
Always ask what systems and protocols are used to keep your information safe. You should never receive vague answers here!
7. Will outsourcing cost me more money?
Hiring, training and retaining employees is an expensive endeavor. Many business owners make the mistake of hiring cheap, inexperienced labor to save money. Unfortunately, this usually results in high-turnover and low-quality work, which can cost your business thousands of dollars in the long run. When you outsource your accounting function to a company like Stride, you have a dedicated team of experienced accountants and bookkeepers.
In most cases, you will pay a flat monthly fee for your accounting team and that’s it. No time or money is needed for hiring, firing, training, payroll taxes, benefits, computer equipment, and valuable office space.
Are you ready to outsource?
Curious if Stride can save you time and money? Contact us today.